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Page 10 san Juan Chamula

Location: San Juan Chamula, Central America

We have never seen anything like today's experiences. Ash Wednesday celebrations in these tiny mountain Mayan villages where Catholicism meets paganism.Admission is by ticket only.

Outside in the parade, the beaters keep the dancers in order. ...so much noise and colour and movement.

The atrium of the central church. The spines of the palm tree in the middle of the atrium litters the ground inside and outside. No photos have ever been taken of the interior, so sacred is it. It is full of flowers, incense, banners, candles, icons, the altar of John the Baptist and whole families surrounded by candles sitting on the floor with their food for the day.

The local male villagers in their unique costume take part in the parade. The women wear a dress or skirt made of black fur although the colour may vary according to the community in which they live.

All ages take part.

Keeping order is too tiring

The main street leading to the church square is mainly lined with stalls of freshest high quality produce.

The kitchen and living room

We next went to the village of Zincacantan where we went inside a Mayan house, complete with shop of course.

We went onto the church where Pete found this sign on the church wall!

Making our lunch of tortillas

These were the remnants of the parade.

Again the noise and colour and dancing hit the senses. whole families carry their chairs through the streets to sit and picnic and worship for the day in the atrium.



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The atrium of the central church. The spines of the palm tree in the middle of the atrium litters the ground inside and outside. No photos have ever been taken of the interior, so sacred is it. It is full of flowers, incense, banners, candles, icons, the altar of John the Baptist and whole families surrounded by candles sitting on the floor with their food for the day.

Close Window

Outside in the parade, the beaters keep the dancers in order. ...so much noise and colour and movement.

Close Window

All ages take part.

Close Window

The local male villagers in their unique costume take part in the parade. The women wear a dress or skirt made of black fur although the colour may vary according to the community in which they live.

Close Window

The main street leading to the church square is mainly lined with stalls of freshest high quality produce.

Close Window

Keeping order is too tiring

Close Window

We next went to the village of Zincacantan where we went inside a Mayan house, complete with shop of course.

Close Window

The kitchen and living room

Close Window

Making our lunch of tortillas

Close Window

We went onto the church where Pete found this sign on the church wall!

Close Window

Again the noise and colour and dancing hit the senses. whole families carry their chairs through the streets to sit and picnic and worship for the day in the atrium.

Close Window

These were the remnants of the parade.